DUBLIN, OH: In a National Roast Day first, Wendy’s is expanding beyond Twitter to insult fans and other brands on TikTok.
The fast-food chain, which actually made up National Roast Day in 2018, has to figure out different ways to keep the “holiday” interesting year after year and retain its reputation as the social media sass queen, after all. There was a hiatus in 2020, so this year marks Wendy's third #NationalRoastDay.
Jimmy Bennett, VP of media and social for Wendy’s, said that roasting consumers on TikTok will be a challenge because “the nature of video establishes a different type of interaction” than you would see from the brand on Twitter.
He said that none of the six people who handle social media for Wendy’s will be shown or heard in the TikTok video responses from Wendy’s.
“The response to fans on TikTok will be 100% from the brand,” Bennett explained. “We found interesting ways to make sure our brand voice can participate. It’s more through visuals than it is through any specific representation or audio.”
On Wednesday, Wendy’s posted a TikTok video promoting the holiday and encouraged people to make a TikTok asking the brand for a roast using #NationalRoastDay.
“We will be responding to those on Thursday,” Bennett said.
Since joining TikTok in early 2020, Wendy’s has attracted 1.1 million followers.
“We’ve put a lot of consideration and thought into how to grow that audience as authentically and organically as possible, making sure we live up to the expectations these consumers are looking for,” Bennett said.
Wendy’s is also bringing National Roast Day to Facebook for the first time.
Content-wise, Wendy’s social media team doesn’t have anything pre-planned because it doesn’t want the brand to appear too scripted or polished.
“People can see through that,” explained Bennett. “We set ourselves up to be ready to respond to people who come and say, ‘I want to be part of this.’ We also respond to the language that they put forth.”
Bennett added that Wendy’s social media team really doesn’t need to prepare for National Roast Day because it tends to dish out burns to fans on a daily basis. However, he did note that Wendy’s reminded some other brands that the day is happening. The more brands that participate, the merrier, he said.
“Fans love it when brands talk to each other on social platforms. There is something unique and special there,” added Bennett. “We love that brands have the courage and understanding that this is all in the spirit of having fun and celebrating with our friends. These brands are our friends, too.”
National Roast Day gives Wendy’s an opportunity to engage in a unique, entertaining and connected way with fans, he explained.
“We love the responses and we are excited to be bringing it back,” Bennett said.
Wendy’s PR partner is Ketchum.